Posted by: Uticopa in sport and mental health on
Jul 30, 2009
Not only are the Olympics coming to London in the next few years, but now the Rugby Union World Cup too. Never has there been a better time to gen up on all those sports which interest you and try to get fit yourself. No longer is it sufficient to merely be an armchair supporter. Taking part in your favourite sport will give you a body to be proud of, but that's not all. It isn't just the physical aspects that will improve your health. It's good for your mental health too.
Let's face it: it's been a long, hard few years for most of us. Maybe you have struggled with the economic down-turn or been unfortunate enough to lose your job. The stresses and strains have been a big burden for many of us, sometimes resulting in marital breakdown or mental health problems such as depression or worse.
Take the case of Leigh Bailey. His world was in tatters - he had a breakdown, lost his job, his wife and his children. He was so depressed he couldn't even bring himself to leave the house. Clearly he was suffering from low self-esteem. But today he is brimming with confidence and has recently qualified as a gym instructor.
And to what does he credit this dramatic transformation? He enrolled in a 10-week Boxercise course run jointly with the Croydon branch of Mind and three times world champion Duke McKenzie. Boxercise is a fitness class which incorporates a number of boxing moves and techniques, but without the physical contact.
We read a lot in the media about the rise in teenage pregnancies in the UK and the subsequent psychological distress - not just to the new mother but to the whole family.
And the rest of the nation?
Everyone has an opinion. You only have to read the hundreds of blogs on various sites to see that everyone, not just professionals, has a view on the problem. Inevitably, the elderly - who have seen it all before in one form or another - place the problem fairly and squarely on society as a whole. ‘Lack of respect for their elders' is a common refrain. ‘Young people have no respect for authority, don't understand or care about the consequences, no longer bother to get married first, so it's their own fault.....' or words to that effect.
Posted by: Uticopa in stroke, stress, mental health on
Jul 20, 2009
Strokes are one of the most common killers in Britain, affecting an estimated 150,000 people each year, of which more than 67,000 die.
But, stroke is such a variable disease, its severity and symptoms varying so much depending on the precise spot in the brain that the blood clot occurred. Some sufferers are only mildly affected and can hope to try to regain any lost faculties by plenty of professional medical help.
However, what causes it in the first place?
Posted by: Uticopa in Alzheimers on
Jul 14, 2009
Here are the headlines: Disaster looms unless new Alzheimer's drugs work, scientists warn. New drugs which slow the progress of Alzheimer's disease could be available in five years but Britain faces an "unmitigated disaster" if they fail to work, scientists have warned. In the meantime there are 700,000 people in the UK alone who suffer from some form of dementia and need help today, not in 5 years' time.
For those who are constantly searching for that elusive, simple way to help yourself at home, why not try the following.
Remember the acronym CAST (coffee, sudoku, turmeric). Each of these three things is available locally all year round. Here are the reasons why you should ‘partake' of all three as often as possible:
Heard the one about the man who went to the doctor to get help for his depression? He's told to go and see a show with a well known comedian who would make him laugh and lift his spirits. "But that's me," says the patient. "I'm the comedian!"
Humour often develops as a response to depression and works as a coping mechanism. Natural comics tend to be superior in intelligence, but also angry, suspicious and depressed. Their comedic skills may well have developed as a means of compensating for earlier psychological losses and difficulties. A significant proportion of comedians do seem to suffer more with depression - think of the late Anthony Hancock and Spike Milligan. Comedy seems to act as a way of dealing with depression. Their comic style that went along with their depressive disorders seemed to feed their creativity.
Are you a creative thinker?
Posted by: Uticopa in self esteem, confidence on
Jul 14, 2009
There are times when many of us can feel particularly worthless, depressed, discouraged, sad and defeated. Life is hard.
The way to deal with it is to tell yourself how special and important you are.
Each of us is unique: some of our mental components are handed down to us by our genetic ancestors, others by what we have experienced in our own lifetime. Do you have any idea of some of the gifts you have within you? My guess is probably not or you wouldn't be feeling the way you are feeling. Indeed, when you are feeling better, who better than you could offer to assist others? You've been through the mill and therefore know exactly what others may be experiencing.
There are many instances in literature and history that show how individual vulnerability can turn to amazing, even heroic, feats in overcoming disaster. Think of Viktor Frankl who was able to find it even in the Nazi concentration camps. You can read his book "Man's Search for Meaning."
Think of the great love poets. To my mind, how could they have experienced so much intense emotions had they not experienced so much emotional pain? In fact many poems express this pain and many of the great poets themselves had mental health disorders.
Posted by: Uticopa in fear, anxiety on
Jul 06, 2009
Is it growing old, the dark, cancer, death? We all have our fears, but how to deal with them so that our stress levels don't get blown sky-high?
Let's take ‘growing old'. If you talk to youngsters and ask them how they view the old people they pass on the city streets, often they will laugh and say things that indicate the old are aliens from another planet. The truth is that children need educating. Those old people are not ‘aliens': it is me in the future! The clothes the old people wear are not a sign that they haven't a clue about fashion, but simply that they choose to continue wearing the ‘fashion' from their own youth. What I'm trying to say is that education is one way of dealing with the fear of growing old.
Maybe you fear the very process of death and the aftermath. In ancient and some current third-world societies, children are exposed to death in a very real sense. They are taken to look at the recently-deceased member of their family, to show respect for the dead. There is often a serenity on the face of a dead person which can dispel all fears about dying. My late father used to say: you must remember me often and quote some of my sayings; in that way, I can live on. This is good advice because by so doing you can ease your own mind by remembering them when they were living and so help your own grieving process.
Posted by: Uticopa in abusive relashionship on
Jul 06, 2009
Are you in a relationship that is causing you grief? I believe that most of us, especially those of us who have mental health disorders, feel guilt in situations where we have no business whatsoever feeling guilt. It's all too easy to just look at our behaviour, the situation and ourselves and say "This is happening, so I must be guilty somehow! I'm so ashamed".
In order to take back control of yourself, you need to understand what is going through the head of your partner. It's all about control.
Relationship abuse is a pattern of abusive and coercive behaviour used to maintain power and control over you. An abusive relationship means more than just being hit by the person who claims to love or care about you. Abuse covers all sorts of things - emotional, psychological, financial, sexual or physical - and can include threats, isolation and intimidation. Emotional abuse is difficult to name or even talk about. Victims often wonder if it's serious because it isn't visible, like bruises or broken bones. Emotionally-abused survivors state that one of the biggest problems they face is that others seldom take it seriously. The problem is: do nothing and the abuse is likely to increase.